Dr. Elizabeth Crooke University of Ulster, UK A recent visitor to the Museum of Free Derry in Northern Ireland wrote only four words on a response card: "bullet holes bring reality". This visitor was referring to a jacket with holes caused by bullets shot at the person wearing the item. In the museum there are a number of objects that bare the traces of the conflict: clothing with damage where the bullet entered and exited the body and cloth soaked with a victim's blood. Even the building is scarred with the effects of conflict, the outer walls also bearing bullet damage. The subject of this lecture is the impact of and responses to objects associated with the conflict in Northern Ireland through consideration of how people have identified with and used such objects. Drawing upon a specific collection, as well as key ideas in material culture studies literature, it is an exploration of how we understand the meanings of things. Within the context of the Northern Ireland conflict, the discussion reflects upon how a selection of artefacts are used, understood, and displayed. It applies the literature that evaluates why we need things and the social and cultural meanings of artefacts to explore of the power and symbolism of objects, the social agency of object, and the importance of objects at times of loss or transition.